Monday, January 18, 2021



As the top “Road Warrior” of contemporary American fiction Robert Eringer—like the hero of the iconic Willie Nelson song—is happiest when with his friends he is “On the Road Again," and in his latest and best novel—Book Drive—he takes his readers on yet another trip they will long remember.

As in his well-regarded earlier Road Novels—Motional Blur (2016) and Last Flight Out (2019)—Eringer uses the device of a journey to tell a riveting story about believable and appealing characters whose travails illustrate some larger truths concerning the human condition.

The journey in question is taken by an elderly once famous writer—Christopher Lathom—as a promotional tour for his first novel in thirty years. 

Proceeding along the scenic coastal route from L.A. to Seattle a series of misfortunes overtake Lathom which provide striking insights into a dysfunctional legal system, a declining publishing industry and the inanity of political correctness, which collectively compel this memorably-rendered protagonist to confront the utter bleakness of his mismanaged life.

Eringer’s gift is his ability to make you care about this dyspeptic and querulous character. 

Through an ingenious series of plot twists and turns there emerges a painful but moving tale of human redemption through the power of love and family.

To say you can’t put this book down and you won’t forget it would greatly understate its excellence.


William Moloney’s reviews have appeared in the Wall St. Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, Washington Times and The Hill.


Friday, January 15, 2021





Or: From roughin' it to smoothin' it.

The name says it all:

Carefree, Arizona.

(It's all about contrast...)



Photo: Van Stein

High & dry (a mile high, the mountain desert) coming from low & moist makes for some interesting "sleep," especially over Whiskey Row:

A big red rant-hill of fiery Solenopsis invicta (back-wheelers), creepy crawlies and worms.

The sound of silence does not arrive till 1:59 a.m.

Just before six (penetrating sweet slumber), invasion of the storm troopers.

And if you don't know what any of this means, neither do I, thoroughly scrambled by homeostasis disruption.

The Point (speakeasy)

Their Western Negroni:
Thumb Butte Sage Gin, Bitter Liqueur,
Washington-made vermouth 
over a single rock

Thursday, January 14, 2021



        Room with a view

...they're still saying Merry Christmas.



Destination: Prescott (pronounced preskit by the locals), whose motto is "Everyone's hometown."

Specifically, Whiskey Row and The Palace, where Wyatt Earp hung out before decamping further south to Tombstone.

A real drink in a real bar, at the bar. 

(An old fashioned, Basil Hayden Dark Rye.)

Excerpt from Book Drive, coming soon from Bartleby Press:

A few minutes later, rolling up the road, Lathom snaps out of his silent funk.

“Now I know how Wyatt Earp felt must have felt,” he says.

“Wyatt Earp from the Old West?” asks Blythe.

“Was there another Wyatt Earp?”

“I guess not.”

“People think he was a lawman,” Lathom continues. “That’s the legend, and like history, legends are lies agreed upon. Truth is, Wyatt was a saloon keeper, and that was an important job because saloons, in those days, were important cultural and recreational centers.  You know why?” He doesn’t wait for a response. “Because saloons came with gambling and women. But by the time Wyatt hit eighty years old, in the late 1920s, gambling was illegal, prostitution was illegal in most states, and Prohibition had outlawed alcohol. Can you imagine how such social senescence must have made him feel?” Lathom laughs. “He must have thought the Wild West—and the rest of the country—had gone to hell in a handbasket!”

Clubhouse on Wheels: SANTA MARIA SUN: BOOK DRIVE